SCV Announces Boycott of Gettysburg Area
Date: August 25, 2004 11:47:12 PM EDT
Subject: SCV Announces Boycott of Gettysburg Area
August 25, 2004
International Sons of Confederate Veterans
SCV ANNOUNCES GETTYSBURG BOYCOTT
The greatest battle ever fought on the North American continent and the historical aftermath of this titanic contest have been lost forever in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On the same grounds where Robert E. Lee, John Buford and John Reynolds fought for principles they held dear to them, Gettysburg College has decided that political correctness is more important than it’s historical identity.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans hereby alert all of our members and friends to attend the rally to be held on September 2 and September 3 at Gettysburg College to protest the College sponsored art exhibit featuring the hateful anti-Southern artwork of John Sims.
It has become apparent that neither Gettysburg College nor Gettysburg appreciates the value of Southern tourism. The valor exhibited by Confederate soldiers in this decisive battle is no longer important to officials of Gettysburg or Gettysburg College. The Confederate Battle flag is an honored flag flown on the battlefield by our Confederate soldiers. By promoting what the college calls “art” in which any intelligent person can see is nothing but thinly disguised hatred, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have decided that an economic boycott of the Gettysburg area will commence on September 3. And millions of American citizens with a love of the South and their Confederate heritage have been deeply offended.
Commander-in-Chief Denne Sweeney hereby calls on all members, families, and friends to avoid Gettysburg and not to spend any money in the Gettysburg area. All people concerned with the anti-Southern bigotry of this area should alert friends, media, and anyone concerned with the growing problem in Gettysburg so that this boycott will become nationwide and not just regional.
After September 3, Gettysburg is to be avoided whenever vacation plans are being made. Please pass this on to all media, lists and Internet services for widespread distribution.
National Press Officer
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Group vows to boycott Gettysburg
Sons of Cenfederate Veterans says its 35,000 members will stop visiting if flag lynching takes place
By ABBY SLUTSKY and NANCY POSTER
Evening Sun Reporters
If complaints won’t get Gettysburg College and the borough of Gettysburg to stop a "lynching" of the Confederate flag, maybe losing money will.
At least that’s what Denne Sweeney, commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, hopes will happen.
"We just want to send a clear message that if the college is not going to take action and the chamber of commerce is not going to take action, they’re just gonna feel it in their pocketbooks," Sweeney said.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans on Wednesday announced an economic boycott of Gettysburg in response to the art exhibit.
The exhibit, from Florida artist John Sims, will open Sept. 3 with a lynching of the Confederate battle flag and includes recolored Confederate flags, a revised version of the Gettysburg Address and remixes of the Southern song "Dixie."
The Sons of Confederate Veterans contends the exhibit includes "hateful anti-Southern artwork."
"We would like to see all of our members and anybody who is a supporter of us to boycott the area because of this rather heinous act that Gettysburg College is perpetuating," Sweeney said.
The boycott calls on members of the organization to avoid vacationing or spending money in Gettysburg.
Sims has said the Confederate battle flag makes him uncomfortable because racist groups have used the flag to terrorize blacks. Lynching the battle flag and changing the colors removes its "visual terrorism" and changes the racist connotations, Sims said.
However, Jim Palmisano, Gettysburg camp commander of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans of the Civil War, disagrees.
This morning, Palmisano said the truth about the flag is that "it’s not a hate and racist flag."
And he said he thinks the college is acting irresponsibly.
He said it’s a "total slap in the face" for Gettysburg College to bring the exhibit to an area that is widely revered by historians and re-enactors.
As for the planned boycott, Palmisano said he doesn’t believe the community should have to pay for what the college does.
"Unfortunately someone else has to suffer for someone’s actions," he said. "It’s just sad that the college has taken this on and created a divisive mood in the borough."
Patti Lawson, associate vice president for communications at Gettysburg College, agreed the community should not be held responsible.
"It’s not the town that is bringing the artist here," Lawson said, adding it’s more appropriate for the exhibit to be the target of any boycott.
The borough and college have received e-mails, phone calls and letters from people who are unhappy with the art, but borough officials don’t want to stop the exhibit, said borough council president Ted Streeter.
"We have no control, nor do we intend to exercise control over the college," Streeter said.
So the Sons of Confederate Veterans have decided to take action.
"Commander-in-chief Denne Sweeney hereby calls on all (Sons of Confederate Veterans) members, families and friends to avoid Gettysburg and not to spend any money in the Gettysburg area.
"All people concerned with the anti-Southern bigotry of this area should alert friends, media and anyone concerned with the growing problem in Gettysburg so that this boycott will become national and not just regional. After Sept. 3, Gettysburg is to be avoided whenever vacation plans are being made," the press release stated.
Sweeney said the boycott will probably last at least a year, depending on the response from the borough.
The press release also encouraged Sons of Confederate Veterans supporters to attend two upcoming rallies.
Palmisano said there are tentative plans for North Carolina resident H.K. Edgerton, former president of a local NAACP group, to march into Gettysburg along Old Route 30 with a Confederate battle flag on Sept. 2.
Then on Sept. 3, at 7 p.m., a memorial is planned to take place at the Peace Light Monument, he said.
That event will include guest speakers from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans of the Civil War, chaplains, hymns, and Civil War music "just to counter the tasteless display down the street at the college and to give us an outlet to show the people this is not at all about hate," Palmisano said.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is based in Columbia, Tenn., and has about 35,000 members, each of whom can trace their ancestry back to a Confederate soldier, Sweeney said.
© Copyright 2004 The Evening Sun